Competition Information

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MID-STATES (MSBA) AND BANDS OF AMERICA (BOA)?

Mid States Band Association (MSBA)

MSBA is a consortium of High School band organizations in and around the Dayton Ohio area. There are no "official" membership requirements: MSBA supports many High School band and guard units through sanctioned invitational competitions and a championship show at the end of the marching season. You can find out more about Mid-States at their website: www.midstatesba.org.

A band may enter the event in Festival Class (taped evaluation only) or in one of four (4) competitive classes according to a band’s total number of wind and percussion members. Competitive classes are determined as follows:

Class A:           1 – 40 playing members
Class AA:
         41-65 playing members
Class AAA:      66 – 90 playing members
Open Class:
     91 or more playing members

Adjudication
Five judges are used.  At least three of the five-judge panel MUST be members of the Central State Judges Association. The head judge will be one of these three members.

General Effect Judges: there will be three General Effect judges at all MSBA shows weighted as follows:

- Music General Effect #1 (20 points)
- Music General Effect #2 (20 points)
- Visual General Effect (20 points)

 Performance Judges: there will be two Performance judges at all MSBA shows weighted as follows:

- Music Performance (20 points)
- Visual Performance (20 points)

There may be one Auxiliary judge at MSBA shows. The auxiliary score will be for an auxiliary award: the auxiliary score does NOT count in the total band score.

Bands of America (BOA)

Bands of America is the nation's leading presenter of music events for high school band students. Bellbrook typically attends two of the BOA regional events around the country and the Grand Nationals event in Indianapolis Indiana.  Regional events usually include 30-35 bands in various classes and the Grand Nationals event usually includes 80-90 bands in the same classifications.

Bands are classified by school enrollment, grades 10-12 only. Those classifications are:

Class A is 600 students and less 
Class AA 601-1149 
Class AAA 1150 and above.

As a result, Bellbrook competes in class 'AA' at BOA events whereas we compete in 'Open' class at Mid-States events.

Judging the competition
Bands receive taped evaluation and score sheets from each judge. Each band also receives a Divisional Rating based on score. Bands of America utilizes a criteria reference adjudication system. Adjudicators use the criteria reference to assign their rating and ranking of each band.

BOA events consist of a preliminary performance and a 'finals' performance.  Each performing band is judged based on the criteria below during their preliminary performance.  At the end of the preliminary performances, each band is given a divisional rating, one (I) being the top rating and five (V) the lowest.  In addition, for each class (A, AA, AAA), top awards in Visual, Music, and General Effect are presented and the first, second and third place band for each class are announced (based on overall ranking within each class). 

Following the divisional and class award announcements, the top 10 bands (12 at Nationals) regardless of their class are announced to perform in 'finals' (as based on overall ranking within the performing bands).  Those bands then perform in the evening and are evaluated again using the criteria below.  At the completion of finals, awards are given among those performing in finals for best visual, best music and best general effect.  The finalist bands are then ranked according to overall score.

It is Bands of America's position that the music is the more important aspect of the performance, with marching as the presentation and visual enhancement. Similarly, more emphasis is placed on general effect than on fine-line perfection.

The point allotment is as follows:

20 points - Music Performance Individual (on the field)
20 points - Music Performance Ensemble (from a vantage point in the upper stands or box)
20 points - Visual Performance Individual (on the field)
20 points - Visual Performance Ensemble (from a vantage point in the upper stands or box)
40 points - Music General Effect (two judges with 20 points each, added for 40 points total)
20 points - Visual General Effect

The Music Performance scores are averaged, the Visual Performance scores are averaged, then those averages are added to the General Effect total, any penalties subtracted, to arrive at a final score (maximum 100).  The adjudication system is based on a positive score: points are not deducted for miscues (dropped weapons, falls, etc.).  In fact, a band can earn "bonus points" for recovery techniques (minimizing the visual effect of the miscue).

CAN I TAKE PICTURES AT COMPETITIONS?

You can take pictures or video of the Bellbrook band at Mid-states competitions for non-commercial use only. You may also take pictures at BOA events.  

However, YOU MAY NOT VIDEO OR AUDIO TAPE ANY BAND, INCLUDING BELLBROOK, AT BOA EVENTS.  DOING SO COULD RESULT IN OUR BAND'S DISQUALIFICATION.  

This is NOT an attempt by BOA to force you into purchasing their tapes.  There are complex rules associated with copyrights and royalty payments of professional music at public, for-profit events.  As a result, NO VIDEO OR AUDIO TAPING is allowed at BOA events.

BOA professionally video tapes all bands at their events.  You can purchase videos of the bands the day of the event or through pre-sales (forms will be sent home with students during the marching season).  At Grand Nationals, a limited number of "instant videos" are available - tapes that you can take home about an hour after the performance.  Other ordered tapes are usually delivered near Christmas.

In addition to the video tapes, BOA (through their assigned photographers) will provide a number of on-field candid shots of students and groups during the show.  These pictures are usually sent to the band director about 7-10 days after the event.  Students are encouraged to look through the candids and show them to their parents.  Ordering information is included with each picture.

BOA will also provide a number of "high camera" shots of the band taken during our Grand Nationals performance.  These are usually made available at the fall awards banquet for parents to view and order.  BOA will also take formal group shots of the band, guard and drumline at Grand Nationals.  Students will be given ordering information at the time the pictures are taken.

WHEN AND WHERE DO I GET TICKETS FOR COMPETITIONS?

Mid-States event tickets can be obtained at the event ticket booth.  Group sales are also announced at booster meetings.

BOA tickets can be purchased on-line at www.bands.org. General admission tickets can also be purchased at the event.

An excellent way to find out more about tickets for competitions is at booster meetings. Sitting with a group of Bellbrook fans during a competition adds to the fun. Booster meetings are a great place to find out who else is going to be attending the competitions.

WHERE SHOULD I STAY AND WHEN SHOULD I GET HOTEL RESERVATIONS FOR COMPETITIONS?

It is a matter of personal choice if you want to stay near the competitions (especially the two in Indianapolis). Some boosters prefer to be close to the stadium, others prefer to try to be closer to the band hotel. Ask a booster leadership member or a veteran booster parent if you would like recommendations for hotels. Hotels fill up rapidly for Regionals and Grand Nationals so be sure to book soon.

Miscellaneous Information:

HOW DO I FIND OUT WHERE THE BAND IS PERFORMING?

Come to booster meetings, watch your child’s itinerary, watch the marching band website.

WHERE CAN I GET ALL THOSE NEAT SOUVENIRS I SEE OTHERS HAVE?

The Music boosters sell many souvenirs. These include both band related (show theme memorabilia) and general Bellbrook school souvenirs such as shirts, hats, and stadium seats. Souvenirs are sold at the home football games. You can also get souvenirs from the Booster member in charge of souvenirs.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM FOR ROOKIE PARENTS?

  • Stay flexible and open to all possibilities.
     

  • Get involved!!!! The booster organization is filled with many wonderful and fun people and it is the only way to get input into your organization (after all the boosters are only the sum of its parts).
     

  • Ask questions, we have all been there and understand how overwhelming it all can be especially if you are also coping with a child just starting high school. Booster parents love to give support to each other.
     

  • Stay positive for the sake of your child and the other students in the band. Marching band is a difficult endeavor for many, if not all of the students. Students need parental encouragement to continue through the tough times. They (and you) will eventually be able to see the great rewards in marching band.
     

  • Attend at least some of the early competitions and watch other bands besides Bellbrook. It will give you an idea of what is being asked of your child and what the band is being compared to.
     

  • If you have a younger child or know of one who is thinking about marching band for the future, encourage them to attend some competitions. Many people remember marching band from their high school days but a lot has changed with marching bands over the years.